Macnamara: a new suburb in Ginninderry

Safe cyclings with the"continuous verge treatment", Bike ONLY path crossing Ariotti Street, Strathnairn, West Belconnen

The Ginninderry estate development has some of the best active travel infrastructure in Canberra. They did not invent it but rather were the first to implement our ACT Standards!

The Macnamara Stage 3 development application (Nr. 202138585) for the Ginninderry estate was released this week and provides insight into the active travel network planned for this development. Strathnairn, the first suburb in Ginninderry estate, is complete.

Ginninderry estate is way out on the edge of west ACT, between Macgregor and the NSW border. The closest shopping centre is currently Kippax with a tiny bus ferrying passengers from and to Ginninderry estate. The ride distance to John Gorton Drive Bridge is 12 km, Belconnen 8 km, and Civic 17 km – with too few cycle paths. The routes are shown on komoot.

Macnamara EDP Concept Master
Macnamara EDP Concept Master. Ginninderry estate. Macnamara Stage 3 development application 202138585, 2021

Macnamara will be built hard against the Murrumbidgee River Reserve. It is evident from the gradient map below that the valley drops off at the edge of the suburb. The purple area is very steep. The river is about 100 m below Macnamara (540 to 440 m).

gradient analysis Macnamara Ginninderry
Gradient analysis Macnamara. Ginninderry estate. Macnamara Stage 3 development application 202138585, 2021

Details of the off-road paths in the Macnamara development application are shown under “movement systems”. Pro Hart Avenue features one way, bike-only paths and a separate pedestrian path. This is the best practice: pedestrians, cyclist and motorists need their own dedicated infrastructure. Unfortunately, this has not been replicated in other estate developments.

Pro Hart Avenue Ginninderry Stage 3 movement systems
Pro Hart Avenue Ginninderry Stage 3 movement systems. Ginninderry estate. Macnamara Stage 3 development application 202138585, 2021

Paths are on both sides of all other roads that vary between 1.5 m (blue), 2.0 m (purple) or 2.5 m (pink). The paths along the side roads are generally wider than that found in Whitlam or Molonglo Valley, where 1.5 m concrete is pretty much the standard. Macnamara is flatter and the gradients are generally around 5% maximum.

movement system Ginnninderry Stage 3
Legend, movement system. Ginnninderry Stage 3, Ginninderry estate. Macnamara Stage 3 development application 202138585, 2021

Recreational path network

The highlight of the Ginninderry estate is the recreational path network in Woodstock Reserve, part of Murrumbidgee River Reserve.

The legend colours are standard for all development applications. They are easily confused. The most important are:

  • main community route – blue
  • local community route – faded blue
  • recreational trail – dark pink
active travel legend
Active travel legend, Ginninderry estate. Macnamara Stage 3 development application 202138585, 2021

The recreational paths (pink) are to the west of Strathnairn in the Woodstock Reserve. A park will be built on the Murrumbidgee River with a road to it. Shepherds Lookout is but a short walk from Stockdill Drive.

active travel Woodstock Reserve recreational
Recreational network in Woodstock Reserve. Ginninderry estate. Macnamara Stage 3 development application 202138585, 2021

The future community and employment area, school, shops and oval lie north of Strathnairn. Eventually, Ginninderry Drive, an arterial road, will lie west of Macgregor and Charnwood, possibly connecting with Kuringa Drive. The purple loop is an access community route – whatever that means.

active travel West MacGregor Ginninderra Drive
Active travel, north sectioni. Woodstock Reserve. Ginninderry estate. Macnamara Stage 3 development application 202138585, 2021

A maze of recreational trails are found to the west of the community and employment area, north of Macnamara.

active travel Ginninderry NSW ACT Border
Recreation community routes. Ginninderry NSW ACT Border. Macnamara Stage 3 development application 202138585, 2021

Active travel infrastructure in the older suburbs of Holt and Higgins are in strong contrast to Ginninderry. Most of the suburbs in West Belconnen were built without any cycling infrastructure. The roads and verges are wide, but there are only narrow, bumpy concrete footpaths and no bike paths. Cycle lanes are rare, and the implementation is half-hearted. Drake Brockman Drive is also lacking a main community route. The main community route along Southern Cross Drive currently ends short of Macgregor.

active travel Holt and Higgins
Active travel Holt and Higgins. Macnamara Stage 3 development application 202138585, 2021

With the duplication of William Hovell Drive, Ginninderry may be easier to get to, but its remote location would still make commuting difficult.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s